Information concerning food waste in Europe

27/01/2020

Food waste is an increasing concern in Europe. Around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU and the sector contributing the most to food waste are households (53%)  (FUSIONS, 2016). The EU and its Member States are committed to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 target of halving per capita food waste at the retail and consumer levels, and reducing food losses along production and supply chains (including postharvest losses) by 2030 (target 12.3).

In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. SDG 12 seeks to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” In order to meet this target, the European Commission has set up a platform that will develop a common EU methodology to measure food waste and define relevant indicators. The Platform has been established as part of the Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan in order to support the achievement of the global Sustainable Development Goal (12.3) target on food waste which calls on all nations to halve food waste and reduce food loss by 2030. The Platform aims to support all actors in: defining measures needed to prevent food waste; sharing best practice; and evaluating progress made over time.

The costs associated with food waste for EU-28 in 2012 are estimated at around 143 billion euros. Two-thirds of the costs are associated with food waste from households (around 98 billion euros). This is due to households a) having more edible food waste than any other sector and b) the costs associated with a tonne of food accumulating along the supply chain (e.g. processing, packaging, retailing costs) (FUSIONS, 2016). Wasting food is not only an ethical and economic issue but it also depletes the environment of limited natural resources. Where we see the most dangerous threats and challenges to our planet is where we also see the biggest opportunities for restoration the opportunity to restore our global food  system  to ensure comprehensive measures are taken. Solving food waste requires holistic answers to reshape our broken food system. And by doing so, it aims at achieving the SDG’s ambitions.

The Less Waste II project offers a chance to citizens of Municipality Amyntaion, Prespes and Florina, to contribute in biowaste management by collect all biowaste in special bins that have been placed where necessary or to compost some of the food waste in household compost bin, if possible. Thus, food waste will be useful as soil conditioner and also with this practice  circular economy is being promoted. Instruction for the use of the household bin will be included in the next post.

Sources

Fusion (2016). http://www.eu-fusions.org/phocadownload/Publications/Estimates%20of%20European%20food%20waste%20levels.pdf

https://www.eurofoodbank.org/en/food-waste

The severity of food waste in Europe